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Sign Up Genius

What it is: Sign Up Genius is an easy-to-use site that makes it a snap to organize all of your classroom helpers and volunteers, parent teacher conferences, fundraisers, etc.  Quickly build custom sign up forms, invite the group, people sign up online and Sign Up Genius automatically sends email reminders....

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Snap! Digital Reading Program: 128 leveled readers

Posted by admin | Posted in Download, Interactive book, Interactive Whiteboard, iPod, Knowledge (remember), Language Arts, Middle/High School, Phonics, Primary Elementary, Secondary Elementary, Teacher Resources, Understand (describe, explain), video, Websites | Posted on 08-08-2013

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Snap! Digital Reader Library iLearn Technology

What it is: Snap! Digital Reading Program is a set of interactive leveled books that can be printed, viewed on iPad, Android, Kindle Fire, interactive whiteboards or classroom computer.  All of the books in the program have been developed to help teachers meet requirements in the Common Core Standards in vocabulary and comprehension through the use of direct instruction, close reading, modeling, guided and independent practice, and text-dependent questioning.  Each leveled reader has a digital interactive version that includes fluency exercises, comprehension and multiple-choice type assessments.  As your students read, you can track what they are reading, view the digital assessments and performance reports.  These reports include information about CLOZE scores, multiple choice scores, and fluency.  You can also see information about the  last book they read (word counts, difficulty, words read correctly, etc.).  Snap! Digital Reading Program also includes lesson plans associated with each book.  While the program isn’t a free one, a year-long subscription to all materials (interactive ebooks for student, printable PDF versions of the books/lessons/other materials, and the data analytics for all of your students is just $89.  Pretty reasonable for access for every student in your class!

How to use the Snap! Digital Reading Program in your classroom: I’ve mentioned this before, but it is worth repeating: when you have a limited classroom library (due to space, as a new teacher, budget, etc.) ebooks are such a great way to instantly expand that library exponentially!  Snap! helps you do that and more.  Not only are you able to offer your students additional access to reading material, they have the added benefit of getting interactive books that give you data so that you can better guide students in choosing books that will help them fall in love with reading.  The readers can also be used for reading interventions, guided reading, shared reading and tutoring.  The leveled readers are for students in grades k-8, so even if you have a super advanced second grade student, you can continually challenge them.

Snap! Digital Reader Library iLearn Technology

The flexibility of this program is fantastic!  I’ve long been a fan of Learning A-Z for their printable books, but they are limited to a printout.  With Snap! you have the option of printing out books, but students can also access them from home device, on the iPad, Kindle Fire, Android, interactive whiteboard, or classroom computers.  The eBook version of the reader includes audio, photo slideshows, glossary terms, videos, fun facts, interactive maps and animations.  The PDF version includes lesson plans, alphabet book, word books, assessment materials and individual student record books.  Regardless of how much technology you have available in your classroom, the Snap! program works.

In a one to one setting you get the best of all worlds.  Every student in your class instantly has access to 128 quality interactive books and activities.  Did I mention $89?! That is a great deal!  You also have the ability for offline pdf books that can be sent home for extra practice.  When I taught second grade, my students loved having a print copy of the ebooks that they read in class.  It was always a treat to have those printed to color and share at home.

In a one or two device classroom, you can set up a reading center for students to cycle through.  Students can visit the center once or twice a week to read.

Model reading strategies for the whole class using an interactive whiteboard or projector-connected computer.  Students can practice reading along and be introduced to new vocabulary.

Tips: The iPad version is not called “Snap!” Digital Reader.  The app you will download to access the interactive ebook library is Mobl21 HD.

Snap! Digital Reader Library iLearn TechnologyPrice of app: Free* ($89 yearly subscription required!)

Device: iPad with iOS 5.0 or later, Kindle Fire, Android, computer

Wordia

Posted by admin | Posted in Interactive Whiteboard, Knowledge (remember), Language Arts, Primary Elementary, Secondary Elementary, Teacher Resources, video, Websites | Posted on 27-02-2012

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What it is: Wordia is a site that has been around for a little while, I recently took a look at it again and was pleasantly surprised with the updates. Wordia is game-based platform that helps expose students to a variety of words and vocabulary.  The Wordia platform uses a dictionary as its foundation and blends learning games with interactive videos that teach vocabulary.  Using Wordia, students build “Word Banks” as they engage in some friendly competition with classmates and other schools.  The games in Wordia focus on spelling, grammar, oracy, auditory and phonics.  This update has included some helpful goodies with schools and classrooms in mind.  Games have been developed for educator led one-to-many scenarios that can be played on an interactive whiteboard or or projector connected computer with the whole class.  One-to-one games are perfect for the classroom, computer lab or home.  Word lists and lesson plans are available with both options for some great ideas for whichever situation best meets the needs of your classroom.

Wordia keeps track of student progress through a series of badges.  Students work to build their own word bank and collect badges.

How to integrate Wordia into the classroom:  Wordia is a great place for students to build and practice vocabulary and word knowledge.  The games are fun to play as a class or individually and beat a vocab worksheet hands down.  Wordia has a pretty impressive search engine.  It would be an excellent site to keep bookmarked on classroom computers as a resource center in the classroom.  Any time students run across an unfamiliar word, they can immediately run a search that brings them the definition, a video, a game, and related words.  If a video doesn’t already exist, your students can record and contribute their own video!  The same option exists for games.  You and your students can easily build a game on Wordia to share.  Just upload a word list, select a game type and voila!
Why not share spelling and vocabulary words every week by building a game from the word list?  Much more fun than the boring word list that gets lost on the way home anyway.
Tips:  You (the teacher) will have to create an account before your students can save their progress in Wordia.  Searching the site and viewing content can be done without a login.

Please leave a comment and share how you are using Wordia in  your classroom!

Print What You Like

Posted by admin | Posted in Middle/High School, Primary Elementary, Secondary Elementary, Teacher Resources, web tools, Websites | Posted on 13-08-2010

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What it is: I don’t know about you, but printers can be a mixed blessing.  On the one hand, if you have one, your students are able to print out their work and finished projects; on the other, printers also make for a lot of wasted pages and ink when students (or teachers) are printing from the Internet. Print What You Like solves this problem by letting you format any web page for printing.  No more pages of ads, empty space, and the extras that you didn’t want.  Print What You Like works in three easy steps: 1. Go to Print What You Like and paste the URL of the page you want to print, 2. Edit the page, 3. Print it!  Very easy and a great way to cut down on paper waste!  I like that there is nothing to download with Print What You Like, it runs directly from your browser.  You can make the page you are printing more readable by changing font size and typeface and removing the background.   Print What You Like gives you the ability to combine multiple web pages by editing them and printing them as one document.  You can even save your modified page as a PDF or HTML document…so cool!  If you sign up for the service, you can even save the changes you make to a page so that other pages from the same site are automatically formatted the same (I’m thinking this would be great for recipe sites!).

How to integrate Print What You Like into your curriculum: Introduce students and other teachers to Print What You Like for printing web pages.  Post instructions for using Print What You Like next to classroom computers, printers, and in the computer lab (I have attached the instructions card that I created for Print What You Like below.  Feel free to print it out and use it in your classroom or computer lab).  Make it even easier to use Print What You Like and add it to the bookmark bar in your favorite browser or add the bookmarklet editor directly to your browser.

Tips: If you have a website that students are constantly printing from, consider adding a printer friendly button that creates a printer friendly version of your website with the click of a button.

Please leave a comment and share how you are using Print What You Like in your classroom!

Binary Game

Posted by admin | Posted in Fun & Games, Math, Middle/High School, Secondary Elementary, Websites | Posted on 29-10-2009

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What it is: Binary Game is a fun Tetris like game where students can learn about and practice binary numbers.  Students are given a target number that they must match by adjusting the 1’s and 0’s.  My fellow computer teacher tried to teach me about binary numbers last year with a binary clock he has (yes we are geeks!) but I didn’t fully understand until playing this game.  Students will have the concept down in no time!

How to integrate Binary Game into the classroom: This is a great little game to fill in those extra minutes in the computer/tech classroom.  The Binary game helps students understand the concept of Binary Numbers and could be a great introduction to a more in-depth study of computing.

Tips: This site runs in Flash, make sure your player is up to date.

Leave a comment and tell us how you are using Binary Game in your classroom.

XOXO 2.0 Laptop

Posted by admin | Posted in Primary Elementary, Secondary Elementary, Teacher Resources | Posted on 22-05-2008

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Normally I only post ideas that you can implement into your classroom today, but the newest version of the XO $100 laptop is too cool to pass on. Be forewarned, the new XOXO 2.0 laptop won’t be available until 2010. I have a feeling that when they are available, they will be popping up in classrooms all over the country and making one to one more of a reality. The new XOXO 2.0 will be controlled by the touch, with a very simple user interface. It looks like it is perfectly kid sized and is said to be very durable (it will have to be in a school setting!) You can read more about the XOXO 2.0 Laptop on TED. Now, if only we could install Leopard on it, it would be perfect! ;)

Scribble Screen

Posted by admin | Posted in Open Source, Primary Elementary, Secondary Elementary, Software, Teacher Resources | Posted on 17-09-2007

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What it is: Scribble Screen is a presentation tool allowing you to write directly onto the screen, drawing the attention of the audience to items which can be in windows from completely separate applications, high-light items as you speak about them, sketch a quick diagram or type some text. Scribble Screen works by capturing an image of the Macintosh screen at the moment it is launched; thereafter drawing occurs on top of this screen image as a background. This background can take over the whole screen (the other applications still running, but hidden) or can be in a smaller side window so you can see the other applications. Scribble Screen is a freeware application.

How to integrate Scribble Screen into your classroom: Use Scribble Screen for presenting information to students. Scribble Screen can be used over any computer application making it ideal for teaching any computer skill, math, taking notes, etc. The possibilities with this tool are endless. This tool is best used with a projector in whole class instruction.

Tips: Note that this program only works with Macintosh operating systems.

 

 

 

Cavantastic

Posted by admin | Posted in Art, Language Arts, Primary Elementary, Secondary Elementary, Software, Teacher Resources, Typing | Posted on 14-08-2007

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What it is: Canvastic is a great student focused graphics and text publishing tool for kindergarten through eighth grade. It has easy to use tools and options. You won’t find any of the “toy” features that you find in Kid Pix type applications. The control given to teachers is wonderful. Teachers can give students access to tools gradually so that as they learn more, they can use more. It actually grows with the user. It has the best spell checking feature for students I have seen. You can try Canvastic for free in your classroom for as long as you like but the print, export, and save features are disabled. For $39 you can purchase Canvastic.

How to integrate Canvastic into your classroom: Use Canvastic as part of your publishing center. Students can publish written stories complete with illustrations. Students can create their own graphic organizers on any subject using the Canvastic software.

Tips: Join the Canvastic community to contribute ideas for improvement of the software, how you are using it in your classroom, and to foster an atmosphere of communication and exchange. In the Community you will find example lesson plans that are tied to state and national standards.